The 3 words that might make you reconsider how you parent your kids
Parenting is a job you can never really prepare for.
There are no rule books, no manual, and often, you just learn as you go along, trying and failing as you go.
The beauty? None of us have a magic solution. Instead, we learn it little by little. Get better at it, more confident in our ability and, as time goes on, less frantically worried about how we are doing it all wrong.
Indeed, when it comes to parenting, none of us are experts. But we can all learn from each other, taking advantage of advice and ideas from other parents, who might have been in the game longer than we have, or who simply have come across a nugget of parenting gold so brilliant we can all learn from it.
Recently, I came across this post on one of my favourite parenting blogs, Cup of Jo, and it really struck a cord with me – maybe because I am slap bang in the middle of a phase with my little boy where I feel like I am constantly telling him 'no.' Not to be mean or or always be on his case, just because, you know, he is a toddler boy and is always up to things that can be either terrifying or really, really messy and crazy. Or all three.
However, these words made me actually stop and think – and promise to do things a little differently from now on.
Here is the post in full:
Six years ago, I heard some parenting advice, and it changed everything…
“AIM FOR YES.”
Funnily enough, I can’t remember who said it or where I heard it, but those three words have run through my mind every few days since then. (That’s approximately 712 times.) The idea is that there are certain rules kids need to follow — say, try hard at school, be respectful to others, go to bed at bedtime, eat the odd vegetable, etc. — but outside of that, if they want to try something out, just say yes.
For example, here are few recent scenes at home:
Toby wanted to wear his bathing suit in the bath
Anton wanted to jump from one sofa to the other
Toby wanted to mix milk and water
Anton wanted to wear pajamas to the grocery store
Anton wanted to lie down on the skateboard
Toby wanted to wear shorts on a chilly day
Anton wanted to sleep upside down (feet on pillow)
My knee-jerk reaction is sometimes to say no — I mean, just hop in the bath, just drink your milk — but then I think: why not? If it’s not hurting anyone, and they find it exciting or enticing for some reason, who cares? “Aim for yes” runs through my mind, and I say go for it. They might feel cold on the walk home, they might not love the flavor of their drink, but they will feel free and curious! And that’s worth it, right? Side note: It’s also funny for me to see all the random stuff they come up with. :)
I just wish I could thank the person who said those three words.
(Feature image via Fashion Guitar)